The prevalence and debilitating nature of peripheral artery disease (PAD) mandate the development and aggressive implementation of the most efficacious treatment strategies available. Research has clearly demonstrated that supervised exercise in individuals with PAD and lifestyle-limiting claudication leads to improved outcomes in the short term. An important factor in determining the relative value of exercise training in PAD rehabilitation is the extent to which the benefits are sustained over time. The aim of this study was to examine the long-term outcome status of participants in the EXercise Training to Reduce Claudication: Arm ERgometry versus Treadmill Walking (EXERT) trial. Twenty-two participants agreed to attend a single data collection visit 1–4 years after their completion of the EXERT study. Objective and subjective measures of health status and physical function and a measure of quality of life were obtained and compared to performance at the end of the EXERT trial. Although analyses indicate that changes in health status and objective measures of physical function occurred in the long-term follow-up period, between-group differences were minimal and were limited to a statistically significant difference in the distance covered during the 6-minute walk test. Subjects’ perceptions on change in physical function and quality of life were similarly stable over time although a statistically significant decrease in participant's confidence in managing their disease/symptoms was evident, suggesting the importance of ongoing support and symptom management strategies. This has significant implications for vascular nurses.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by a research grant from the Society for Vascular Nursing; Laura N. Kirk (PI). The authors wish to thank Michelle Mathiason Moore for her assistance with statistical analyses.
© 2018 Society for Vascular Nursing
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